6 Cloud Trends to Watch in 2015

After a careful reading of the tea leaves, our executive team is prepared to make their predictions for the year ahead. Mix up your own hot beverage and settle in; here is what we see on deck for 2015:

Jeff Erramouspe, CEO, Spanning Cloud Apps

Jeff Erramouspe, CEO

Big, Huge Data: Each person is now generating a mountain of data; from the files you create to the emails you send to the steps you take to the hours you sleep, everything you do is a data point. But what are we doing with all of that data? As new platforms and applications emerge that can take these mountains of data and turn them into something useful (Salesforce’s Wave platform for example), data (and metadata) is going to become increasingly valuable, not just for what’s in it but for what patterns can emerge from it. The risk in all of this is that we end up suffering from data overload. It takes smart people to build smart apps that can separate the wheat from the chaff and provide real insights. What good is beautiful data visualization if we don’t learn anything from it? 2015 will be a huge year for figuring out which platforms and apps are useful and which are not.

Garrett Jones, VP of Sales, Spanning Cloud Apps

Garrett Jones, VP of Sales

Data Loss Risk Is Higher Than Ever: The bad news for all this data is that more people are after it. In 2014, we saw several very high-profile hacks, from Target to Home Depot and, most recently, Sony. As ZDNet’s David Gewirtz says, “There is no way to put this gently. Cybersecurity in 2015 will get worse. A lot worse.” In addition to the near-constant threat of malicious data deletion, we are seeing more and more 3rd party product and application integrations with the various cloud platforms increasing complexity and the real risk of accidental data loss. A lackadaisical “we’ll get to that when we have time” or relying solely on the cloud vendor to address data protection just isn’t going to cut it. Everyone needs an end-to-end data protection strategy – strong passwords and encryption to keep the bad guys out and a disaster recovery plan that includes regularly tested restore solution to ensure you are covered when bad things happen.

Mat Hamlin, Director of Product, Spanning Cloud Apps

Mat Hamlin, Director of Product

Data Security and Protection: What’s Old is New Again: When data growth occurs in the cloud, more people have access to it, are in control of it, and are after it. Collaboration and sharing of data (and corporate data) has moved from a business agility initiative to the mainstream, and organizations are rapidly migrating their applications and data to SaaS applications, which from a data security standpoint, makes what’s old, new again. Tried-and-true data security practices and products for centralized access control, data loss prevention and backup and recovery don’t work for cloud applications. In 2015, IT organizations will held accountable for securing, protecting, and proving that their data is as safe as it was behind corporate firewalls, and companies that deliver innovative solutions to solve these problems will see growth and success.

Michael Warjas, Director of Business Development, Spanning Cloud Apps

Michael Warjas, Director of Business Development

Unlimited Becomes Expected: 2014 saw the continuation of the “race to the bottom” for storage pricing. As Box, Microsoft and Google all offered unlimited storage pricing models, Amazon, Dropbox and others all continued to offer more space for less money. Arun Taneja of the Taneja Group explains why: “The younger generation is living a very different life than 40-somethings and 50-somethings. Our storage needs are doubling every year.” Cloud users are expecting to store their ever-growing data without being nickel-and-dimed along the way, and more cloud vendors are happy to cooperate, especially the ones that are offering platforms to go along with their storage. In these cases, the main value lies in the platform features and storage is simply baked in.

Rob Stokes, Director of User Experience, Spanning Cloud Apps

Rob Stokes, Director of User Experience

Good Enterprise UX Is No Longer Optional: In the world of the cloud, you can purchase an app quickly, and if you don’t like it, get rid of it just as quickly. If a cloud application is difficult to navigate or confusing, it will be quickly disposed of in favor of something more user-friendly. A bad user experience is no longer an option; cloud application builders need to provide users an intuitive interface that gives them what they need quickly if they want to continue their relationship with a customer.

Mike Pav, VP of Engineering, Spanning Cloud Apps

Mike Pav, VP of Engineering

Cloud Goes Mainstream in the Enterprise: This is the year that enterprises will simply start to roll out (and adopt) connected, mobile enabled applications that work the way that they employees do, and stop worrying about whether or not they’re in the cloud. With the right tools in place for security, backup, et cetera, the cloud is becoming less risky than previously thought, and is instead becoming a viable (and even sought-out) approach for enterprise IT departments. The idea that cloud adoption is a “scary” thing will be replaced with the realization that “cloud” is just a way to better reach your customers and enable your employees with information that they can access, when and where they need.

In short, data’s getting bigger and more important, and we need better, safer ways to access and use it. If you have any predictions of your own to share, please let us know in the comments below!